Savannah St. Patrick's Day - A Vacation Guide
St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah is a big deal.
Like, a really big deal. In fact, Savannah is host to the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebration in the country, with tens of thousands of people in yearly attendance.
It’s loud and fun, and crazy, and beautiful, and green. Green everywhere.
And because it’s such an epic celebration, often spread over several days, it pays to plan ahead.
Staying in Savannah for St. Patricks Day
With the number of people flocking to the historic district, most hotels, B&B’s, and inns tend to book up far in advance. That’s not to say you won’t stumble upon a last-minute cancellation or opening, but if you want to stay in the thick of things, or anywhere nearby, you want to make reservations as far in advance as possible. You can check out a list of our favorite Savannah B&B’s here. (Fun fact: lots of people book their St. Patrick’s stays a year in advance.)
Bring the Right Duds
Savannah in early spring is one of the absolute best times to visit. The azaleas are in bloom, flower boxes are bursting with color, the weather is (usually) fine. There’s a fresh energy to the city- just waking up from the slower, cozy winter months. Many times visitors assume that because we’re so near the ocean, that Savannah is a tropical environment, and while it certainly feels that way in the summer - winters in Savannah can get downright frigid. With that in mind, early March can kind of go either way.
Some years it’s already downright balmy for the St. Patty’s Day Parade. Other years, we’re sporting green hats and scarves. And to be honest - this time of year - it’s anyone’s guess which way the temps will blow.
We recommend bringing outfits fit for layering, so you an easy adjust throughout the day. Just make sure you bring your green.
PRO TIP: Ladies, even though they’re lovely for photos - leave your heels at home. Large crowds, cobblestones, craggily historic sidewalks, grassy squares, and stilettos just don’t mix. Wear wedges if you must. But if you can swing a cute pair of flats, you’ll be fashionable and prepared for any Savannah St. Patrick’s Day adventure.
claim your St. Patrick’s DAy parade-watching spot early
In past years, T.C. has met up with a group of guy friends here in town and alternated staking out our group’s parade viewing spot for the entire night before. And they’re certainly not the only ones … it’s not uncommon to see people camped out the night before the parade, determined to save the perfect spot for their families.
While it tends to be a lot of fun - we don’t think it’s really necessary to go to quite those lengths. But we do recommend staking out your spot at least two to three hours before the start of the parade.
LaFayette Square, Oglethorpe Square, and Bay Street near Savannah City Hall are a few of our favorite places to take in the sights.
Just keep in mind, when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah, the early bird most definitely gets the worm.
Be prepared for the crowds
First-timers to Savannah during the St. Patrick’s Day celebration are usually a little stunned at the scope of the celebration. It’s truly a festival that takes over the entire city, and while that’s definitely a lot of fun - there’s also a couple of logistics to keep in mind.
First, at the height of the parade, when everyone is crowded together, taking photos, trying to post on social media - cell service can get a little spotty. Internet connection aside, sometimes even text service can run a little slow. Just something to be aware of.
Second, make sure you have rendezvous points for yourself and others in your group. If you get separated, it’s always nice to have an agreed upon meeting point (especially if that cell service has gotten a little spotty.)
There will be beer. Everywhere. Really, there’s no need for explanation here. :)
Savannah does boast a rather liberal open-container policy, so you’re able to take your green beer (or mint juleps, for that matter) to-go. Just keep in mind that glass bottles and cans are off limits, so be sure to keep all your drinks in a plastic cup. Savannah designer, Emily McCarthy, has some particularly festive ones available to order here.
make dinner reservations far in advance
Similarly to your hotel and parade-watching spot, it pays to plan or reserve at least some of your meal stops in advance. Especially if you want to check out a traditionally popular restaurant like The Olde Pink House, The Grey, Husk, 17Hundred90, or Vic’s on the River.
There are so many fantastic restaurants all across the historic district - there are truly options for every culinary craving.
Make time to see outside of the city a little
St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah is a fabulous good time. But we have to admit, following the celebration we’re usually in the mood for a little relaxation time. A quiet breakfast at Back in the Day Bakery, a hike on Skidaway Island, a jaunt around Wormsloe Historic Site, and a slow, marsh-view dinner at The Wyld Dock Bar are the perfect recipe for kicking back and and unwinding after all the festivities.
Come back the next year and do it all over again
Remember, serious Savannah St. Patrick’s Day revelers book their trips in advance - sometimes a whole year ahead! The holiday means a lot to the people of Savannah - and we love sharing that heritage with guests year after year.
Curios why Savannah is so in love with St. Patrick’s Day? Learn all about the fascinating story here.
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We’re T.C. & Brenna Michaels
We’re Savannah authors, tastemakers, historians, and classical storytellers. We’re also madly in love and living our true Savannah romance.
GENTEEL & BARD IS OUR LUXURY SOUTHERN LIFESTYLE AND SAVANNAH TOURING COMPANY. WE’RE SO GLAD YOU’RE HERE.